Bronze is a metal alloy about 90% copper, this material oxidizes (tarnishes) when exposed to chemicals that are on human hands, in the atmosphere and in water. The actual bronze raw metal is a beige color when pressure blasted with abrasives to a clean surface.

The finished color, which varies on bronzes is called a patina. This is a controlled oxidizing process. It is accomplished by heating the metal and then brushing or spraying a concentrated mixture of water and chemicals to the surface. Different chemicals give variation in color and a broad range of color values can be achieved with temperature, chemical concentration and application techniques.

Unfinished Bronze

After the color is established, a barrier is needed to protect the Patina from further oxidation. A special lacquer is applied to the surface and a coat of paste wax is brushed on and allowed to set. When dry, it is buffed to give luster to the finish.

Over time, changes will occur to the finish. By avoiding exposure to direct sun light, metal objects (which can scratch), moisture, and never using chemical polishes or cleaners will help give longevity to the patina. An occasional dusting with a soft cloth to keep the bronze clean is recommended.

Major changes to the patina or damage to the bronze can be repaired by a competent Art Foundry.
Applying Patina